Get, set, go! Is your store ready for the Christmas rush?

It’s here. Christmas advertising is out in force as Tesco, Aldi, Boots and Marks & Spencer become just a few of the companies to try and entice us into stores. To smaller retailers the outlays may sound hefty. John Lewis’ much-anticipated ad, featuring Monty the Penguin, cost £1 million to make and is part of a larger £7 million media campaign.

Yet, independent retailers might want to take note. Following last year’s Bear-and Hare advert, John Lewis reported £734 million in sales, including a 23 percent increase in internet shopping, in the five weeks leading up to December 28, 2013. Like-for-like sales went up by 6.9 percent from the previous year. Had the store captured public imagination?

The next few weeks are a key period for shoppers. Owners keen to treat their pets this holiday will be looking for festive purchases. Luckily, retailers don’t need £7 million to join the Christmas rush. Many pet stores are already flagging up their winter offers online and in store.

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Retailers have begun boosting their kerb appeal with well-applied decorations. Many companies are using social media as a simple, cost free platform to flag up festive discounts. In store, point-of-sale displays have begun to feature holiday treats.

So, will we see a rise in sales at the end of the year? In December 2013, the amount spent soared by 6.1 percent, compared to 2012, reported the Financial Times. Much of the retail sector will be hoping the next few weeks of 2014 are also among the busiest – and most profitable – of the year.



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